Discussion Paper

No. 2017-79 | September 28, 2017
Should you choose to do so… A replication paradigm
(Published in Special Issue The practice of replication)


This note introduces the concept of the replication paradigm, a framework that can (and should) be followed in every replication attempt. The paradigm expands,   in part, on Bruce McCullough’s well-known paraphrase of Berkeley computer scientist Jon Claerbout’s insight – “An applied economics article is only the advertising for the data and code that produced the results” – and on the view that the primary social and scientific value of replication is to measure the scientific contribution of the inferences in an empirical study. The paradigm has four steps. First, in the “candidate study,” identify and state clearly the hypotheses advanced by the study’s authors. Second, provide a clear statement of the authors’ econometric methods. Third, discuss the data. Fourth, discuss the authors’ statistical inference. The author´s purpose in this ordering is to reverse the too-frequent focus in the replication literature on “data.” The correct data, of course, are critical to the replication. But “replication” as a scientific endeavor will never achieve respectability unless and until it abandons a narrow focus on data and expands its focus to the underlying scientific inferences.

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Cite As

Richard G. Anderson (2017). Should you choose to do so… A replication paradigm. Economics Discussion Papers, No 2017-79, Kiel Institute for the World Economy. http://www.economics-ejournal.org/economics/discussionpapers/2017-79

Comments and Questions

Anonymous - Referee report 1
October 16, 2017 - 11:38

• The economics profession has hit an all-time low, if now we publish replication plans rather than actual replication studies.
• The software used in the study was RATS.
• As for the desire to use 1990-1992 as a structural break, I warn the authors of the issue of data mining as the ...[more]

... author appears fixated on structural breaks other than what the endogenous breaks determined by the Gregory-Hansen procedure. I suggest the authors read the cointegration literature on this point regarding exogenously imposing structural breaks.
• As for the reporting of the results, and for that matter the so called replication plan. There is an underlying assumption that the presentation of results are independent of the requests of both referees and editors in the review process.